While the Manta Ray may appear intimating when encountered in the wild, they pose very little threat to humans and are actually in need of saving from the irresponsible practices currently being carried out in the oceans of the world. Vast populations of Manta Rays of all different varieties are suffering due to the gill raker trade and other pressures from overfishing. Manta and Mobula gills are collected and sold as an ingredient in unofficial Chinese medicinal tonics. Stopping these practices before the Manta population
Unlike many of the creatures living in the depths of the ocean, the Mana Ray only comes in two distinct breeds: the Giant Mana Ray and the Reef Manta Ray. Both types of rays can be found in tropical and subtropical portions of the ocean all across the world. However, within their habitat they remain highly localized to food sources and areas where they are able to mate. The Mana Ray is perhaps one of the easiest sea creatures to identify. Their distinctive needle-like tail, triangular fins, and typically large body allow them to stand
They glide peacefully, hovering across the ocean floor. Manta rays are like the angels of the ocean and if you have getdirecttv.org service or get Discovery, you might have seen them recently featured during Manta Week.
Often times confused for stingrays, manta rays are quite different and listed below are just a few fun facts about these fascinating creatures:
1.) A manta ray can actually grow up to 25 feet and weigh more than 5,000 pounds. This explains why you don’t see too many in captivity. We simply don’t have the facilities.
2.) It is actually quite hazardous to come into physical contact with a manta ray – for the manta ray, that is. They can lose their protective mucous membrane simply from a touch.
3.) A manta ray can live for as long as 20 years and they are more closely related to sharks which, ironically, are their primary predators.
4.) The manta ray is classified as a fish and, surprisingly, the one fish we know the least about.
5.) Contrary to popular belief, manta rays do not possess “stingers” like their cousins and can be quite gentle when encountering humans.
6.) A manta ray’s teeth are not used for eating – they are a complex system of filters.
Going on a vacation is usually pretty expensive. For this reason, most peoples’ vacations are few and far between. This can make it rather difficult to decide upon one single place to travel to. If you happen to find yourself going to the state of Hawaii for a getaway, you’d be wise not to miss the once-in-a-lifetime chance to swim with manta rays.
Although manta rays live in many places with warm, tropical waters, Hawaii
Much is being done to conserve manta ray habitat, but it is not done in a vacuum. Much is being done to protect and conserve all marine habitats for all species.
The first thing that is being done is education of those involved with marine industries. From fishermen to scuba divers, everyone who has a hand in the marine environments, including mantas, learns about what can be done to protect species and fisheries for generations to come.
Governmental intervention is another powerful tool to help protect manta rays.The whole story can be found at http://summitcountyvoice.com/2012/05/15/oceans-mysterious-mantas-tracked-by-satellite/ By imposing limits on nets and certain fishing methods, mantas stand a much stronger chance of survival. This is not to say governments want to put a complete stop on marine fisheries and industries rather to help manage the species for everyone.
The tourist industry does a great deal for helping manta rays. The dollars and money spent to dive with mantas generate much needed income for the above mentioned activities. Money that goes to support research, facilities and better technology for learning about and protecting the species and will eventually increase awareness and conservation activities.
Manta rays are graceful, beautiful creatures. Harmless to humans; they provide an integral part of the marine ecosystem.